Teacher Claims She Was Unfairly Dismissed After Sexual Assault

Teacher Claims She Was Unfairly Dismissed After Sexual AssaultA former employee at Shrewsbury school Gillian Stokes has claimed she was sexually assaulted by a female member of staff and later fired for being involved in activities with UCAT trade union an educational charity and sister organisation to the University of Chester. She was fired from her position working in the school’s tuck-shop but has stated she was unfairly dismissed.

Ms Stokes had worked at the school for 17 years and between 2005 and 2012 filed a total of 16 complaints. However her alleged behaviour surrounding the events seem to counteract her claims. For example after being dismissed Stokes sent out a mass email to 750 students at the school informing them about her sexual abuse by a colleague. She claims she was assaulted in 2009 and then again two years later.

She also made accusations that on another occasion a male colleague had manhandled her. When asked why she had not come forward sooner she replied that she had been frightened and that she was aware most abuse cases reported to the police are historical. She also said that when she had tried to organise an unauthorised union meeting she had been threatened with the sack and told “we’ll get your for this” by a member of staff.

The court also heard that she had been making threatening calls and sending abusive texts to her co-workers who she felt had “betrayed” her saying things like: “Careful when you go home. Things are bad out there. We wouldn’t want you to have an accident.”

However in her defence Stokes stated that she had regretted sending out the mass email and blamed it on her emotional distress. She also denied sending any threatening messages to former colleagues. The school said it was forced to take out a High Court injunction and restraining order because Stokes started protesting outside the school gates after her dismissal.

She is claiming for £24000 to cover her loss of wages and hurt feelings. The tribunal is expected to last five days. If you believe you have been subjected to unfair dismissal contact a solicitor now for advice on a claim.


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